Cantora: Mercedes Sosa, the Voice of Latin America

Knopf. Sept. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593645970.
Gr 2-5–A rich, inspiring picture book biography about a Latin American icon. Mercedes Sosa grew up in rural Argentina. She performed folk music that resounded with messages of justice and human rights. Sosa became a symbol of resistance and believed that she could be the voice of the voiceless. Her popularity and strong stance grabbed the attention of the Argentinian dictatorship in the 1970s, and she was banned and arrested. This led to a self-exile to Spain. Years later, she returned to her beloved home where she was greeted with children, farmers, and workers who were singing her songs, while gauchos escorted her home on horseback. The author-illustrator’s admiration of the subject shines through the text and the illustrations. From the flowers and musical notes scattered throughout and the braided pattern found on the endpapers, the vivid palette of mostly reds, purples, oranges, and pinks fills the pages, lending a feeling of awe and celebration to the work. Even the red-hued vibrations that resound from the bombo drum that Sosa used to accompany her music give off a sense of power and reach. Some awkward transitions between events and phrasings sometimes disrupt the flow of the narrative but won’t deter readers. Resources in the back matter for further research include a playlist, selected bibliography, author’s note, time line, and a glossary of Spanish phrases and vocabulary.
VERDICT Artists continue to be voices of resistance. Readers are introduced to a wonderful example in this impressive debut.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing